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Started Off Highly Optimistic!

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Paul Montry

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
After reading a lot of the posts and replys in the newbie forum,I can see this business is going to be no cake walk.But what successful career is? I just started considering this business recently.I currently have a terrific job,that may be coming to an end soon.I have time to get educated while still working,but will it be worth it in the end?Any predictions on the appraisel market in the state of Michigan?Can a very ambitious,hard working person make a career out of appraising and support a wife and 4 kids?
 

Tom Foster

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Paul,

Supporting a wife and 4 kids on trainee pay can be rough. If you can make it past the first 3 years, you should do OK.

I was taking a continuing education class last week at this big facility.

There was another classroom next door with people wanting to get into appraising. I was hanging around the parking lot at lunch, listing to a group of about 12 guys talking about what they do now what they expect. Many are willing to work for free. Most thought they had stumpled across a gold mind.


Most all were working fast food, pizza delivery, Car wash etc. These guys can work for 8 bucks an hour as a trainee and still make more than they are now.

In 3 years 15% will still be appraising. 30% will still be worrking the French Fry machine, 20% will be in Prison, and the rest will be dead or homeless.


If you would have asked this question 6 years ago - I would have said jump in with both feet. But now with the rates creeping up, refis will dry up and the competion for appraisals will be fierce like it was 10 years ago.


That's the way I see it.
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Paul, if you can stand 3-4 years of making very little, you can do OK, assuming this business doesn't go to pot, as many predict it will, if for no other reason than a rise in rates. I don't know what your savings are. It is a long road. No benes. $12K-25K self employeed for 2-3 years. After that you have to build your business. It isn't easy. I started @ 23 some 11 years ago, no kids, wife w' a good job and benes. Can't relate exactly but suspect it will be tough. Could you do better with your current skills/job at another firm? Could you take your current skills and use them to employ yourself?
 

Tom Foster

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Paul,

Give it a try for a few weeks and see how you like it. You will have freedom - you can count on that.

Conceive yourself to be an idea without mass, without wavelength, without time, and actually without position. I mean, you are physically made up of nothing, not even an atom.

Around you is an infinite void, without empty space or anything else. Time doesn't exist either. Nothing moves. Nothing happens. You're just out there as a non-entity in a non-existent part of nowhere. Now that's total freedom.


Thank God it's Friday - The coals are glowin and the beer is flowin !!!!


Big T
 

HelenTestin

Sophomore Member
Joined
May 10, 2003
To any newbie, the low wages during training should be a consideration. I considered it long and hard before entering the field. But, it can be survived. I remember looking into being a School Guidance Councilor. Here is what they go through, and by the way, they are usually the first to be laid off during cutbacks.

1) Masters Degree in EDU ( 60 Credits beyond BA)

2) One year unpaid full time internship within the School System.

3) Hopefully find a job. You usually work several more weeks than teachers do and make only SLIGHT bit more.

4) Pay back around $30-$40,000 in Student loans. The cost to attend a good College.

5) The Good News. You will be making $45-$50,000 a year after 10 years in the system here in Massachusetts. Really not that bad as things go.

I just did not want to do it because I already have enough student loans from getting my 1st MBA. So, i decided to try Appraisal, as a close friend has really made reasonable go of it over the past 10 years. After 10 years working in big business, i really enjoy the independent nature of Appraisal. I am married, no kids, and an early 30 something. We bought a 4 Family years ago at mid 1990's prices. Live in 1 Unit and rent the other 3. It keeps monthly expenses down, always has. Husband is an accountant. Would I be doing this if I had 4 kids, and HAD to be the bread winner. Maybe, but probably not.

My hope is that even if the market slows down a lot, that my friend/Mentor will be able to keep me for an appraisal or 2 a week. This way, I will achieve the needed Appraisal experience at around the 2 and half year mark and could take the licensing exam. That would be terrific.

In some of my Real Estate classes, I have seen people quit there jobs with no experience in Real Estate or Appraisal, and with a lot on the line. Seems a bit risky to me.

I too was a bit too nieve about the business before I got in. I am one of the newbies here who believes the writing is on the wall, and either a market slow down, or AVMs or something else, will make it impossible for me to realize a 30+ year career in Appraisal. Being early 30's now, it is tough to imagine the profession being around in 2033. I knew nothing about these risks, and probably didnt want to know before jumping in. However, in a weak economy, and with my current Corporate burn out mind set, even if I can do this job that I really like for 6 more months or 2 more years or 30 more years, I am going to continue until their is no more opportunity. I have suffered several layoffs, what would be the difference if my mentor lets me go, other than 6 months unemployment benies, which i can survive by simply getting another job?

My advice. Think carefully about your situation. And, you might come to the conclusion you want to try Appraisal, even with the risk. After all, you can always go back to working some Salary job if needed. Even retail. However, every profession has its trials at the beginning. It comes down to what you think the future beyond a few years will hold. When I started in business, with an MBA, I made $20000-$25000 a year for a couple years, and worked insane hours on Salary. Hourly, I probably made $3/hour really. It was the price that needed to be paid.

Appraisal is no different. Success = very hard work for most of us. That is just a fact of life. I have rarely achieved anything worth while easily.

Good Luck.

Helen
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Your concern is income over the 2+ years it takes to become registered/certified. If the wife doesn't have a solid job, you've got to consider the fact that a trainee will make appx $20K the first year. So here's my suggestion. Talk to the larger real estate companies and see if they need sales people. That will give you an idea of how the market is going. Look at how many sales took place since the first of the year and how it compares against last year. Look at the population trends in your area-stable, declining, or growing. Remember, the refi boom WILL NOT last. Look at how many appraisers are already working in your market. You will have to ultimately compete against them.

Remember, this is a BUSINESS decision, nothing more, nothing less. Build a business plan because that's what you are going to do-start a new business.

Alternative: IF there is enough sales activity to support additional real estate sales people, start with your salesman license. You should be generating closings in 90 days, with a somewhat stable income. The nature of the real estate sales business is such that once you have gotten into the real estate area, you should be able to decide if you want to try appraising. You should have some space in the sales business to start your appraisal education and hook up with an appraiser.

Just My Opinion

Roger
 

Linda M Lynch

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Paul, There is really no hard and fast answer. So much depends on your location and the mentor you find. In some areas of the country even slow time would be considered busy in other parts of the country. Some mentors use trainess as gofers and do not really teach them or give them a chance to grow.....these are usually the ones that want you to work for next to nothing. Other mentors will take the time to really teach and give you a chance to grow and will give you an honest split as soon as your work merits it. I was really lucky when I got into the business. I live in an area that never seems to slow down. And I had a wonderful mentor who really taught me the business and gave me an honest split...maybe even too generous looking back. I began making a good living after 1 year. Even during the first year I didn't starve...just tightened my belt. Other areas the orders are hard to come by and mentors are hard to find because they see all new appraisers as competition. (with some justification.) In those areas it will take a long time to establish yourself and make a living. So I guess you'd need to take a look back at the business in your area for the past 5 years and determine what kind of mentor you can find before you will really know the answer to your question.
 
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